So they say 3rd times a charm. I would have to agree. I've been putting Windows 7 through plenty these past few days and after two failed attempts, I decided to give it one more try and now I think I can say so far so good. After giving it a go from home with a stable internet connection I was up and running and ready to dive in. Regardless of what some might think, Windows 7 is not a new operating system designed from the ground up, much like Vista was. Think about it like this, do you remember Windows ME (Millenium Edition)? Yeah I didn't think so. Windows XP? Ofcourse you do. If you weren't forced into Vista with any recent PC purchase, you may be lucky enough to still be running XP and I'm sure most of you are. I also wouldn't doubt for a second that many users out there are still, to this day, using Windows ME and quite possibly even Windows 98.
Now comes Windows 7 with so much eye candy it'll blow any previous versions of Windows out of the water, yes even Vista. Sure at first glance it looks almost identical, however this time around it manages to still function after running Aero at max settings. Aero is Microsoft's glass look they introduced with Vista. It's visually stunning and makes all the difference in the world when jumping from the GUI of Windows XP to Windows 7. The catch is you need the RAM to pull it off. Where Vista devoured
and shat your memory, 7 simply feeds on it. With RAM prices dropping constantly I would strongly recommend anyone running any version of Windows to install as much RAM as possible on their system. 32-bit versions will only do 3GB max and 64-bit will do 8GB and up. The processor has nothing to do with the Aero Effect. The only thing a faster processor helps you do is process...fast. There is a 64-bit version of 7 available as well, however if you've pulled your hair out after looking for drivers or even software that took full advatange of that 64-bit bandwith then you may as well just stick with 32-bit. Unless you're tossing around a few grenades in Call of Duty 4, hell bent on getting Crysis to look photorealistic instead of playing the damn thing, or doing some pretty intensive photo or video editing, an Intel Core 2 Duo is more than enough. Windows 7 promises to fix the problems that plagued Vista in terms of 64-bit support but the proof is always in the pudding and Bill Cosby knows his shit. With the new Intel Core i7's making headway, Nvidia's new graphics chips producing all sorts of kickass. The future is looking good and so is Windows 7. You have to see the GUI in action to see what I mean so here's a quick screencast to show you what the peek feature does as all well as the shake feature.
Windows 7 automatically groups all windows of the same kind and pins them to the taskbar with only the icon for reference. The peek feature involves rolling your mouse over the icon to bring up a minimized look or peak, and as you hover over the windows of that particular task all windows behind it become panes of glass. It's quite awesome actually. Microsoft introduced some gesture based features with 7 as well, and shake is one of them. Grab a window by the title bar and shake it and all windows behind it will minimize. Do it again and they come back up. The task switcher also makes a return with alt-tab doing the basics and window-tab, with the family gathered around the PC, will surely bring about some oohs and aahs.
Now on to some serious matters. Video games. I would say recording, but I don't record music on Windows anymore. I've learned my lesson. So anyway, back to games. Vista, in a sense, was meant to bring gamers together. Marketing pitches and all, you don't have to look far to know that couldn't be any further from the truth. Games For Windows has nothing on Valve's Steam Client. As you saw in the first screenshot, my Mac, running Windows 7 through Boot Camp scored at a 4.4. I'm impressed and so should you. What does it mean? Not much really. On a scale of 1 to 5.9 though, it sounds pretty good to me. My rig sports the usual Intel Core 2 Duo, which is plenty and more than enough to run Left 4 Dead. The only issue I've come across is Mirror's Edge not playing audio during it's Esurance like cutscenes however I here that's more of an issue with Windows 7 not necessarily issue with audio drivers. Left 4 Dead ran amazingly smooth, and Fallout 3 had it's fair share of glitches though it ultimately ran fine. I'll keep goin at this beast with plenty more and I'll keep you all posted. Next up on the agenda, Orange Box.